Monday, September 21, 2015

What I've Learned from Losing a Baby

I've always been excited to be a mother. From the time I was little, my mom says I would mother anything--dolls, toys; apparently I would even pick up dirty Kleenexes off the floor and rock them in my arms and sing to them. Carson says that on our first date it came up that I want 12 kids, which I don't remember saying, but I'm not surprised. I am the kind of woman who can't wait to make fun (healthy) food for my kids, homemade Halloween costumes, prepare special family home evening lessons, and just throw my heart and soul into making their lives great. I was so very excited to start being a full-time mother for our baby boy, due January 31st, 2016. My entire life was planned around it.

Then, out of nowhere, after 19 weeks of a perfect pregnancy, my baby came early. I would explain how we lost him, and the details of the 4-day hospital stay that no one could have ever prepared us for. I would tell the story and you, too, would see that it was completely un-preventable. But the details don't really matter. The end result would be just as sad any other way. Basically, it was a most heart-breaking week. I would spill out the story, but I mostly need this blog right now to force me to articulate all that I've learned, thought and felt.

Our little funeral today, September 21, 2015. Such a hard day. Luke is buried with my two grandparents.

1. I've learned God's answers to prayer are sometimes above our understanding, but they are answers. 
Not all prayers are answered with a "yes." This has been the hardest "no" answer I've ever received. We had hundreds of people praying for us, and those prayers were by no means in vain. God heard them all, He could have worked a miracle with such faith, but He had a different will than we all did. 
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Some people have said it's ok if I'm angry at God, but with this scripture and all of my blessings in mind, how could I ever?!)
So, how do I know God even heard all my prayers, then? Because I have felt His comfort, His love, and His sadness with me (it was even raining today during our little funeral, and I felt that God was weeping with us). I know He doesn't want me to be sad, so I trust He answered my prayers with a "no" for a reason that I don't understand yet. 

Christ, also, prayed for something that Heavenly Father said "no" to. He prayed that the bitter cup of the Atonement would be taken away from Him. Had God answered with a "yes," we would all be lost. 

I've learned that prayer isn't to just try and get what we want. It's to help us become who God wants and needs us to be, to show faith in Him, to gain strength, and to receive blessings that are conditional on us asking for them. It isn't always a protection from adversity, but it is always a strength in adversity. 

2. I've learned just a little more of the depth of God's love for His children. 

We tend to love people we know. The more you know someone, the more you love them. I don't really know our son, Luke. I had him inside me for 4 1/2 months. But even hardly knowing him, I love that baby boy so much more than I can write. Seeing his tiny 8-inch, 10-ounce body... his perfect hands and feet with long fingers and toes like Carson's, his little bulging biceps and calf muscles, his tiny little nose (he has my nose), his tiny ears the size of the eraser of a pencil....holding that precious, tiny, lifeless baby....I was overcome as I realized how much I love him. I can't keep my composure when I think of how much I miss him being with me.
If I can love a tiny, underdeveloped baby that I hardly know, I can't imagine the intensity of the love God has for us, who knows us perfectly. He's been our father since the beginning of time, as compared with me being pregnant for 20 weeks. The small taste of parental love I have convinces me that we'll never realize just how deep God's love is for us.

3. I've learned how many amazing friends I have.
It's been so touching, meaningful, helpful, and such an answer to my prayers to have so much love and support from so many people. I can't believe how kind some people have been. The flowers, packages, cards, comments, texts, prayers, messages, phone calls and meals have overwhelmed me and Carson. "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs." = SO TRUE. Thank you, thank you! You know who you are! You have comforted and strengthened me and helped me be happier than I would be. God has helped me so much through you.

4. I've learned I have a lot more answers than questions.
At first, it seemed that there were so many questions we don't have answers to.  Why did this happen to us? Why is such a worthy desire denied us? Didn't we have enough faith for a miracle? How come irresponsible people who don't want kids get them, and we don't? etc. However, after thinking and praying about it, I've come to be convinced that I can't really say that I have a lot of unanswered questions. I have more answers than questions. We heard a song at church that says, "Christ is heaven's answer." Knowing Him and His gospel is the greatest answer. Also, it's ok if I don't have all the answers I want. As Nephi says, "I know that God loveth his children, nevertheless I know not the meaning of all things." I do know that God loves me. I know. And I've gotten to the point where that's enough of an answer for me.

5. The most important thing you can do for your family is maintain a strong marriage.
Being married can be the one of the greatest strengths in your life. I thought my love for Carson was already at maximum capacity, but after this trying time, our relationship is stronger than ever. Among all the seemingly gallons of tears that I've cried lately, some of them are just tears of profound gratitude for him. He has helped, strengthened, and comforted me more than anyone. Your relationship with your spouse needs to always be 100% maintained so you're prepared for unexpected punches in the face, like this one. There's a reason, folks, why you're supposed to get married before you get pregnant. You need each other and the commitment that only marriage can provide. 

6. I've learned to look at people through a mother's eyes. 
Which means I see them as the prized, treasured, priceless newborn baby they once were to their mother. I think how they were once smaller than a poppy seed, and what a miracle it is that they are the independent, full-grown person they are today. What a miracle. And when you see people as priceless miracles, you just tear up, and want them to be happy. 

7. I've learned no matter how many Reeses peanut butter cups or how many spoonfuls of Tillamook ice cream you eat, you usually feel the same way emotionally, or worse. 

8. I've learned that having a child waiting for you on the other side is a great motivator to merit living there, too. 
I went to the temple the other day, and was overcome with the desire to be as pure as my sweet baby, who got a speed pass to the Celestial Kingdom. Just like I would have done anything to keep him here, I'm now willing to do whatever it takes to be with him again. Thanks to Christ, I CAN be pure enough to live with our baby again. 

9. I've learned again how necessary the blessings of a temple marriage are. 
How do people without the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives survive the loss of a loved one? I don't know how I could. Knowing that "all things that are unfair about life will one day be made right through the atonement of Christ" is what gets me through. The promises we received at our sealing in the temple really hit home during times like these. It's like insurance. You get married in the temple before most of your biggest tragedies will occur. You have no idea what life will offer you. But with the promises of a temple marriage, you will, in the end, have what's most important, no matter what happens. Thanks to our sealing in the temple, our family is the same in the end, even though Luke died. We're still the same family eternally--Luke just gets more time in heaven than we do.


  1. Faith. You are such a strength to me. I can't tell you how much these words you have shared- your testimony and experience, has blessed and strengthened me. You are an incredible woman and truly worthy of that spot right next to sweet Luke, waiting for you in the celestial kingdom. He is just keeping you here to bless people like me and for the other 11 children he is going to send you. They need a mother like you. They need a father like Carson. You're amazing. Thank you for making me want to be a better person.

  2. I wish I had something profound to say as Carson would put it. All I can say is that my heart goes out to you two. I've shed my own tears in your behalf. I know you guys are doing what's right and that the Lord will help heal your wounds. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is a beautiful post. Faith, you continue to amaze me. You are mature beyond your years. Again, I am so sorry for you loss and I continue to pray for you and Carson. I love you.

  4. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about you and Carson this past week or so and this incredibly tough trial. My heart goes out to you and aches for you. Thank you for sharing your healing process and your hope and faith in the gospel.

  5. Your insights are profound. What a wonderful way you have of teaching others through your experiences. I echo Terri that you are mature beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


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